The four candidates who hope to become Sinn Fein’s new MPs in Foyle constituency
These are the four candidates in the running to become the two new deputies of Sinn Féin in the consistency of Foyle.
Pádraig Delargy, Ciara Ferguson, Amy Hamilton and Tiarnán Heaney have been confirmed as candidates to replace incumbents Martina Anderson and Karen Mullan.
The couple are leaving the assembly this month after being asked to step down in a major party reshuffle following the recent poor election results in Derry.
The Sinn Féin selection convention process is due to take place on Wednesday after the seat nominations close on Sunday evening.
Pádraig Delargy is a 25-year-old Derry Party activist who is a strong advocate for the support and promotion of the Irish language.
Ciara Ferguson, from Strabane in County Tyrone, is a project manager for the community organization Greater Shantallow Area Partnership in Derry.
Amy Hamilton is a young Sinn Féin activist from Derry who also works for the party, according to her Facebook page.
Tiarnán Heaney, 25, is the director of Ms Anderson’s constituency office and previously worked for her in the European Parliament when she was an MEP.
Sinn Féin has launched an internal review in Derry after a series of poor local election results.
In December 2019, Elisha McCallion lost the seat of Foyle Westminster to SDLP leader Colum Eastwood in a landslide of more than 17,000 votes.
And earlier that year the party lost five board seats in Derry and Strabane, losing its position as the largest party in local authority.
The new appointments will be the second time that Sinn Féin has replaced the two MPs from Foyle constituency under the current term of the Assembly.
Ms Anderson replaced Raymond McCartney in March last year, while Ms Mullan was co-opted in 2017 after the post was vacated by Ms McCallion when she became an MP.
Sinn Féin Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald said Ms. Anderson and Ms. Mullan “will continue to play a leading role in the party’s development nationally and regionally in the Northwest”.
Councilor Sandra Duffy, Sinn Féin Group Leader in Derry, said: “We are delighted with the caliber of those preparing for the selection conventions.
“They are all hardworking and dedicated activists who bring a lot of experience and enthusiasm to the task ahead.
“This is clearly a new era for the party in Derry and the successful candidates will take office at a crucial moment for politics across the island.”
Ms Duffy also paid tribute to Ms Anderson and Ms Mullan as “two highly respected and extremely hardworking activists”.
She said: “They have both taken on important new roles within the party and I thank them for all the hard work they have done on behalf of this constituency and this party.”